Russia rejects Snowden extradition demand, blasts US rhetoric

posted at 8:41 am on June 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when the Obama administration sent a reset button to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as a way to thumb their noses at the outgoing Bush administration and blame them for poor relations with Moscow?  Good times, good times.  Lavrov delivered yet another lesson on the dangers of naiveté, this time bluntly rejecting the extradition demand from the White House over Edward Snowden, as well as a verbal dressing-down over the conduct of American diplomacy in the affair:

Russia’s foreign minister on Tuesday bluntly rejected U.S. demands to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who has apparently stopped in Moscow while trying to evade U.S. justice, saying that Snowden hasn’t crossed the Russian border.

Sergey Lavrov insisted that Russia has nothing to do with him or his travel plans. Lavrov wouldn’t say where Snowden is, but he angrily lashed out at the U.S. for demanding his extradition and warnings of negative consequences if Moscow fails to comply.

“We consider the attempts to accuse Russia of violation of U.S. laws and even some sort of conspiracy, which on top of all that are accompanied by threats, as absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable,” Lavrov said. “There are no legal grounds for such conduct of U.S. officials, and we proceed from that.” …

Lavrov claimed that the Russian government has only found out about Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong from news reports.

“We have no relation to Mr. Snowden, his relations with the American justice or his travel around the world,” Lavrov said. “He chooses his route himself, and we have learned about it from the media.”

“No legal grounds” refers to the fact that Snowden has apparently not attempted to go through passport control in the Moscow airport.  Officially, he hasn’t entered Russia yet, which is how Lavrov is parrying US pressure, at least for now:

Sergey Lavrov said that Snowden hadn’t crossed the Russian border and insisted that Russia has nothing to do with him, his relations with U.S. justice or his travel plans.

“He chose his itinerary on his own,” Lavrov insisted. “He has not crossed the Russian border.”

The Russians and the Chinese are making fools out of US officials, and don’t think that’s gone unnoticed.  The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker even points out Barack Obama’s golf game as a criticism in the disjointed response to Snowden’s flight:

It was bright and sunny in Washington on Saturday as President Obama stepped out of the White House in flip-flops and khaki shorts to hit the golf course with his buddies.

At the same time, officials throughout his administration were scrambling to keep one of America’s most-wanted fugitives from evading extradition in Hong Kong.

The juxtaposition illustrates the hands-off approach Obama has taken — in public, at least — to the government’s efforts to bring Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old former contractor who exposed classified details of U.S. surveillance programs, back to the United States to face charges of revealing government secrets.

Conservatives say Obama’s posture in the case provides further evidence of a commander in chief whose credibility abroad has declined and who shrinks from presidential leadership at moments of international crisis, including in response to last fall’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

“Nobody’s afraid of this guy,” said former George W. Bush administration adviser Eliot A. Cohen, who argues that Obama should have personally stood up to Chinese and Russian officials. “Nobody’s saying there are any real consequences that would come from crossing him — and that’s an awful position for the president of the United States to be in.”

Obama’s defenders say that it might have been even worse had the President put himself personally in the middle of this, only to end up empty-handed.  That’s probably true, assuming that such an effort would have failed. But the juxtaposition of the disarray that allowed Hong Kong to let Snowden slip out of the country and the optics of the flip-flop-wearing Golfer in Chief only underscores the Keystone Kops quality of both the internal security issues and the failed diplomacy that followed.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Am I going to have to proclaim it myself?

Shout it from the mountaintops, people…

Peregruzka!

sartana on June 25, 2013 at 8:45 AM

They are treating us like the decadent, second rate, corrupt, third world mess we are.

IlikedAUH2O on June 25, 2013 at 8:46 AM

So, in answer to the White House’s “or else” they chose option (a): Laugh in their faces.

makattak on June 25, 2013 at 8:46 AM

The Russians and the Chinese are making fools out of US officials, and don’t think that’s gone unnoticed.

Obama, our national embarrassment.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Leno: ‘IRS Has Ruled Obama Can Write Off First Half of His Second Term as a Total Loss’… http://drudge.tw/120MOt4

HT: Drudge

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Power.

Russia understands it.

The United States apparently no longer does.

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Has Russia crossed a red line yet? I hear that that’s a really big deal.

Abelard on June 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Obama’s defenders say that it might have been even worse had the President put himself personally in the middle of this, only to end up empty-handed. That’s probably true, assuming that such an effort would have failed.

This is just a hunch, but I wonder if Obama secretly doesn’t want Snowden captured and returned to the US. His poll numbers have taken a huge hit likely from people who sympathize with Snowden and object to what the NSA is doing. If the guy is caught and tried here(and almost certainly convicted), that could cause even more headaches for the regime down the road. Better to just let him disappear off the grid so Obama can go back to pretending he’s some outsider who has nothing to do with anything going on in Washington.

Doughboy on June 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Obama’s managed to go from being The Lightwalker and getting a Nobel Peace Prize basically for just breathing to commanding the same level of respect around the world as Elmer Fudd in just four years.

It’s not a shock he’d take down the level of U.S. prestige in the world — that was part of the game-plan Barack, Val and the two Davids had to begin with. The amazing thing is how the president’s made himself into something of a global joke while doing it (as the pans by foreign pundits on last week’s Berlin speech and the lack of respect by foreign nations over the Snowden kerfuffle have shown).

jon1979 on June 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Jive talkin’, Mr. President, only works with fools.

Putin is no fool.

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Just send Chuck Schumer to remind them that they’re our allies.

Red Cloud on June 25, 2013 at 8:54 AM

He legitimately thinks that it’s all about him. It’s like having Henry VIII as president. And the 47% ObamaPhone users are perfectly okay with it.

Darin on June 25, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Fore!

Paper tiger in chief

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Governing is hard….

awc on June 25, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Reset button, reject button, what difference does it make?

Flange on June 25, 2013 at 8:57 AM

“Ungrounded”?

Then it is a good thing that they have an extra “Overload” breaker hanging around…

JohnGalt23 on June 25, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Get ready for the Showdown!!

Putin rips off his shirt for battle!!

Obama whips out Reggie’s..er Sorry, I mean
Obama pulls on his Mom Jeans.

ToddPA on June 25, 2013 at 8:58 AM

I guess “or else” meant “or else I’ll play golf.”

The Rogue Tomato on June 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM

It is awful when reality gives the value reading of a nation of politically correct, multicultural, secular, over mortgaged, black, brown, female, overweight, poorly educated little atheists.

The only shred of empire we have left is our nukes and the Hawaiian Muslim wannabe moron wants to give that away.

IlikedAUH2O on June 25, 2013 at 8:59 AM

And Obama probably still believes that cutting out nuclear forces in half will make the Russians love us all the more…

Valerie, Samantha, and Susan are all in a dither, I suppose, that the Russians are not swooning at the mere sight of the Light Giver.

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Those pimp slaps must start to hurt after a while, especially with that Super Bowl ring on.

abobo on June 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM

If the guy is caught and tried here(and almost certainly convicted), that could cause even more headaches for the regime down the road. Better to just let him disappear off the grid …

Doughboy on June 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Bingo. I think you’ve nailed it.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM

I love this. I love watching Obama being trounced by these ex-communist f**ks that he emulates. He’s trying to pretend he has a pair like them, but then they clank their wrecking balls in front of him and he quivers.

And isn’t it rich that the first time that Obama actually starts talking tough is when his administration is embarrassed? They can’t be bothered to get tough with radical Islam, but dammit they’ll bring the hammer down on an IT guy who showed them to be totalitarian tyrants.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I imagine it comes as a big shock to Obama that Chicago thug tactics don’t work on Putin. Maybe if Obama goes to Moscow and bows a few times, Putin might be more amenable.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 9:02 AM

This is just a hunch, but I wonder if Obama secretly doesn’t want Snowden captured and returned to the US. His poll numbers have taken a huge hit likely from people who sympathize with Snowden and object to what the NSA is doing. If the guy is caught and tried here(and almost certainly convicted), that could cause even more headaches for the regime down the road. Better to just let him disappear off the grid so Obama can go back to pretending he’s some outsider who has nothing to do with anything going on in Washington.

Doughboy on June 25, 2013 at 8:51 AM

The problem for Obama is Snowden’s split his base — he doesn’t care if some on the right see Snowden as a courageous whistleblower, but the Glenn Greenwald vs. David Gregory dust-up from Sunday shows the gap between those on the left who hated U.S. surveillance under George W. Bush and hate it now, and those willing to follow any policy turn this White House makes, even if it means unquestioningly supporting NSA actions in 2013 that you unquestioningly opposed when they were first revealed by The New York Times in 2005 while Bush was in the White House.

The Greenwald absolutists — who don’t think the U.S. should be collecting information about anyone electronically — don’t just want Obama to leave Snowden alone, they want all charges dropped and to have him allowed back into the country as a hero. And as long as Snowden still has information to drop, they can keep up the drumbeat and keep embarrassing the White House and the president (and that’s important because those types on the left were supposed to be the vanguard of the ‘popular’ movement Obama would harness to push his pet liberal domestic programs. It’s hard to get those activist to sign on to the cause of global warming, gun control or even immigration amnesty and take it to the streets for The One if they’re irate at him over the Snowden/NSA situation).

jon1979 on June 25, 2013 at 9:03 AM

The Gamesman response – “Okay, Putin; you won’t mind when we send a ‘recovery’ team to ‘retrieve’ Snowden from that stateless strip of land he’s on.”

Steve Eggleston on June 25, 2013 at 9:04 AM

He’s trying to pretend he has a pair like them, but then they clank their wrecking balls in front of him and he quivers.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

If it weren’t for golf balls, he’d have no balls at all.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:04 AM

In flip-flops, even.

Cleombrotus on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

A lot of these comments from so-called conservative readers are pretty embarrassing. They think this story is about Obama, and they are giddy about the leaking of all this info to our adversaries. Sad to see.

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Lame Cherry(best damn blog on the innerwebs) has the most interesting take on Snowden, and probably the one closest to the truth.

Snowden has powerful protectors, and the avalanche of scandals that have rocked the White House since the Boston Baked Bombing Farce have all been part of a push-back against the Cartel running the Obama Project; undertaken by powers that be who’ve watched things get too unspun and now feel threatened themselves:

http://lamecherry.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-snowden-bait.html

sartana on June 25, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Putin is sitting there, all relaxed and comfortable, a bevy of sharp looking Russian young ladies attending to his every need, a baby miniature giraffe cavorts on the carpet…

And Obama is really truly harshing his mellow.

Respect us?

Fear us?

And Obama expects Russia to love us?

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 9:09 AM

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Don’t underestimate what this gov’t can do to the Tea Party or the folks writing here.

Josef Stalin was unspeakable to his peasants and rivals but needed winter to save him from a nation 1/8 the size of his.

The worst part is that he can’t blame capitalism, traditional America or right wing forces.

You know, like Bush and Wall Street caused the 2008 collapse and all those lousy mortgages to poor people for “decent housing” the left wanted would have been fine otherwise.

IlikedAUH2O on June 25, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Yo, Holmes, that white boy just called you a punk-a** b***h.

M240H on June 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM

It was bright and sunny in Washington on Saturday as President Obama stepped out of the White House in flip-flops and khaki shorts to hit the golf course with his buddies.

His “buddies”? LOL, that’s not what I call them. This guy doesn’t have “buddies”.

Cleombrotus on June 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM

They think this story is about Obama, and they are giddy about the leaking of all this info to our adversaries. Sad to see.

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Guess whose fault THAT is.

Cleombrotus on June 25, 2013 at 9:11 AM

jon1979 on June 25, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Good point. As you know, Snowden has also divided the right. In my dreams, a new coalition emerges, an alliance of traditional (classical Western liberalism)Dems with libertarian conservatives, led by people like Rand Paul.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Obama is no Reagan. While Obama keeps puttin’ on the ritz, Reagan would have eaten Putin on a Ritz.

The Rogue Tomato on June 25, 2013 at 9:15 AM

This is completely Off Topic – but what kind of “President” plays golf in khaki shorts?

Were the jorts in the wash?

Odie1941 on June 25, 2013 at 9:15 AM

The US government is a joke and tyrannical at home and just a joke abroad.

Course this is who the people want leading them over the cliff, so who are we to judge. He’s doin the best he can or something…

Gatsu on June 25, 2013 at 9:16 AM

This is completely Off Topic – but what kind of “President” plays golf in khaki shorts?

Were the jorts in the wash?

Odie1941 on June 25, 2013 at 9:15 AM

He gave his jorts (mom style nach) to Kevin Smith.

Gatsu on June 25, 2013 at 9:17 AM

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Go get a room with smoothsailing. You two were made for each other.

cozmo on June 25, 2013 at 9:17 AM

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

It is currently all about Obama. All of it. This happened on his watch. He signed in on the log. He is in charge.

After five years of passing the buck to everyone else, especially to Bush…we inherited this, and that, and that other stuff, too, and all of that stuff as well..inherited it…but I’m gonna pivot, make a hard pivot,. gonna focus like a laser…bullsh*t is what Obama does…and has been doing for decades.

When faced with a real problem, right now, there is no one else to blame…

Snowden?

Snowden is but a bit player in a larger opera.

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Lavrov claimed that the Russian government has only found out about Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong from news reports.

Well, hell!!! Obama should certainly sympathize with THAT!!!

DRayRaven on June 25, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Pic of the Day: President Obama, Please Explain Why We Are Arming People Who Do This…

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:16 AM

That was totally heartbreaking.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 9:19 AM

You have to love the “just found out about it in the news” excuse the Russians are using. They took a page out of Obama’s playbook and used it against him.

djaymick on June 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Power.

Russia understands it.

The United States apparently no longer does.

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 8:50 AM

May want to rewrite that: The Russkies (and Red Chinese) understand Nationalism…they know whats in *their* best interest, and to the Devil anyone that sez otherwise.

We used to know that, but on a very cold day in 2008…well, the rest is history. I sure as hell hope the United States isn’t too.

BlaxPac on June 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Odie1941 on June 25, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Yup. The wheels are coming off the world and he’s got time to golf in flip-flops and shorts. On a Saturday, no less.

God help us.

Cleombrotus on June 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Someone PLEASE, even if it’s Vlad, stand up to Obama because none of the Republican elite will.

vityas on June 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Incredible.

Cleombrotus on June 25, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Good point. As you know, Snowden has also divided the right. In my dreams, a new coalition emerges, an alliance of traditional (classical Western liberalism)Dems with libertarian conservatives, led by people like Rand Paul.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Not likely. Considering the winning streak Libertarians have had in this country in the past 40 years…well *they* need to do some remodeling as well.

If the best that party can do is Ron Paul or Lyndon LaRouche, don’t expect my vote anytime soon.

Offer a viable candidate…someone that doesn’t sound as batshyte as Dr. No-No, and we’ll talk…otherwise, they’re just another kaffehause wannabe revolutionary from the Right, instead of the Left….the only difference is they may NOT crap on police cars…but who knows nowadays?

BlaxPac on June 25, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Someone PLEASE, even if it’s Vlad, stand up to Obama because none of the Republican elite will.

vityas on June 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Neither party will, they are now all vassal lords to the great and powerful king of the United States.

Neo-feudalism. Catch the fever.

Gatsu on June 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Hmmmmm……….what ever happened to “Smart Diplomacy” and Madame Secretary’s “reset” button?

GarandFan on June 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I love this. I love watching Obama being trounced by these ex-communist f**ks that he emulates. He’s trying to pretend he has a pair like them, but then they clank their wrecking balls in front of him and he quivers.

And isn’t it rich that the first time that Obama actually starts talking tough is when his administration is embarrassed? They can’t be bothered to get tough with radical Islam, but dammit they’ll bring the hammer down on an IT guy who showed them to be totalitarian tyrants.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Yeah, I’ve been struggling with the glee I’ve been feeling over the Ruskies and Chinese telling Duh One to eff off.

At this point, I figure Obama has damaged our country so badly that I can probably enjoy this spectacle without feeling any guilt.

After all, I’m not one of the low information half-wits or “free sh*t” moochers who voted for this national embarrassment.

DRayRaven on June 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM

“…and we have learned about it from the media.”

How does that feel, Obama? Sting a little? Good.

I have a hard time thinking the Russian’s didn’t carefully choose their wording.

rrpjr on June 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Russia rejects Snowden extradition demand, blasts US rhetoric

In other words, our president is a punk…

right2bright on June 25, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Putin, not being a Tea Party leader or a contributor to Mitt Romney, has nothing to worry about from Obama.

rrpjr on June 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

A lot of these comments from so-called conservative readers are pretty embarrassing. They think this story is about Obama, and they are giddy about the leaking of all this info to our adversaries. Sad to see.

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

The fries are done, and table 16 needs to be wiped down…when you finish, you can post again…

right2bright on June 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

The Russians and the Chinese are making fools out of US officials…

Not hard to do when we have a weak, empty suit president.

BigGator5 on June 25, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Obama is completely flummoxed…he can’t order the IRS to audit Putin…can’t tax him, can’t release any information on him…and I doubt John Kerry can intimidate anyone…

This is what we all knew, Obama isn’t capable of playing big league ball, as they say, if you can’t run with the dogs, stay on the porch.

right2bright on June 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Leno: ‘IRS Has Ruled Obama Can Write Off First Half of His Second Term as a Total Loss’… http://drudge.tw/120MOt4
petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Leno is doing more damage to Obama right now than the GOP did in five years.

rrpjr on June 25, 2013 at 9:34 AM

They think this story is about Obama, and they are giddy about the leaking of all this info to our adversaries. Sad to see.

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Curious. YOU still think of them as “adversaries, while your Lightbringer thinks of them as those he has “flexibility” with.

Better get with the program.

Cleombrotus on June 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM

They think this story is about Obama…

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

What is this story about then? Can you please enlighten us to the bigger picture.

BigGator5 on June 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM

those commies bastards better watch out. 0bama is not bluffing…

chasdal on June 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM

The Russians and the Chinese are making fools out of US officials…

ummmmmmmmm….this has been going on from the beginning, this is just more of an “in your face”, the rest has been on an international level and way beyond any journalist to understand.

But maybe a hint was giving into Putin on missile defense? Hello, any journalist, any left at all??

right2bright on June 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM

those commies bastards better watch out. 0bama is not bluffing…

chasdal on June 25, 2013 at 9:35 AM

I think you are right…next is a speech without the Greek columns, and if that doesn’t work, a strongly worded memo…

right2bright on June 25, 2013 at 9:37 AM

They think this story is about Obama, and they are giddy about the leaking of all this info to our adversaries. Sad to see.

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Man am I getting sick and tired of your bullshit.

I will say it, AGAIN, trashfish…

Yes, Edward Snowden broke the law, but he also gave up a helluva lot: his family, his girlfriend, his friends, his home, his job in Hawaii, his name, his future, his freedom (which will always be curtailed even if he is never apprehended by the US), and, perhaps, his life.

…BUT, I THANK HIM FOR EXPOSING THE TRUTH.

I don’t have to glorify Edward Snowden. In fact, I don’t even have to like him to be grateful for what he did.

Whatever you think of him or what he did, ask yourself: How many people do you know that would be willing to make those sacrifices so that Americans could learn the truth about the Surveillance State?

I am willing to bet that you are just the kind of bird, who would NEVER reveal the wrongdoing of the Federal government, because, well, you’d just have to sacrifice your name, spouse, children, family, friends, home, job, freedom and maybe even your life. Undoubtedly, you wouldn’t have blown the whistle on what the IRS was doing to law-abiding Americans, ‘cuz, well, that would require some integrity and courage and those are a couple of things that you lack. In fact, you strike me as a Lois Lerner-Gladys Kravitz type.

Oh, hell, never mind. You’re obviously 100% correct. It’s not like the Federal government has been busted illegally wiretapping people in the past, laundering drug money, illegally targeting Tea Party groups, or putting a bullet through the head of a woman holding her infant daughter in her arms or anything.

FWIW, it’s not about Obama. It’s about a country:

* That collects incredible amounts of personal data on its citizens; tracks them via licence plate scanners, drivers’ licences chips, millions of CCTV, EZ-Pass tags, etc;

* Would love to imbed RFID chips; tells them that they have to give up some of their civil liberties in exchange for ‘security,’ decrees that ‘the Constitution will have to change,’ and lectures them saying ‘people are just going to have to realise that they can’t just go wherever they want to like they used to;

* Mandates the purchase of goods and/or services;

* Elevates special classes over ‘ordinary citizens (See: illegal aliens, racial, gender (I’m a woman and disapprove of affirmative action and set-asides for women), gender orientation, Muslims);’

* Has a dacha class;

* Believes it should be able to control our children (Iris-scanning and Federal record-keeping on everything from birth to death? Really??? Where does the Constitution give the Federal government that power or even responsibility?);

* Subjects Americans to unreasonable searches and seizures while being willfully blind when it comes to our actual enemies;

* Supports our enemies like the Muslim Brotherhood);

* Celebrates some law-breaking while persecuting others that have broken no laws (Compare and contrast the treatment of illegal aliens by various Federal agencies and the manner in which the government has dealt with the Tea Party, Patriot groups, supporters of Israel, gun rights groups, pro-life organisations, religious institutions, etc);

* Refuses to enforce and defend its borders and the sovereignty of the country;

* Governs without the consent of the governed (for example, Obamacare hasn’t had a positive approval rating since May, 2009 – 10 months before it was even passed);

* Flips the bird at the middle class;

* Intentionally sets about to fundamentally change the ethos, laws, community, demographics, and philosophy of this country for power and profit;

* Is corrupt from the Oval Office on down;

* Debaunches the currency thereby destroying the wealth of the middle class and reducing the standard of living for everyone save a precious few;

* Arms rebels that are cannibals, which is something that even Putin won’t do;

* Intervenes in foreign conflicts involving NO national security issues;

* Takes the side of foreign governments – like Mexico – over states, like Arizona.

* Refuses to enforce laws on the books while demanding more laws be enacted (see gun laws, for example);

* Tracks the credit card purchases of American citizens in real time and without a warrant (See the Hotwatch programme);

* Can walk into any bank or other financial institution and demand unfettered access to the accounts of Americans without a warrant (See the Patriot Act and the Frank-n-Dodd financial reform law);

* Gives taxpayers’ hard-earned money to cronies and campaign contributors;

* Refuses to enforce voting laws and ensure that the voting system is safe from corruption and fraud;

* Divides Americans into allies and enemies along racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, and other lines;

* Seeks to ‘punish its enemies’ – meaning Americans that disagree;

* Spies on every American;

* Declares war on the press;

* Prosecutes true whistleblowers under the Espionage Act of 1917;

* Actively works to silence and/or punish dissent;

* &c

If you think that I’m only upset about the Surveillance State because Obama is POTUS, then you have the IQ of a dead houseplant. I was complaining about this shit long before you ever heard of Edward Snowden or Barack Obama.

You see, trashfish, I know about all of this because I’ve been engaged with it for years. On the other hand, you are ignorant of what your government is doing to you. Look, if you want to get totally screwed by the government everyday, fine, but leave my civil liberties the fluke alone. I owe NO allegiance to the government. Like the oath that politicians routinely violate, my allegiance is to the Constitution.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Vladimir, don’t you be callin’ my bluff now…don’t you do that.

coldwarrior on June 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

China holds some people:

Chinese workers hold American executive captive. The co-founder of Florida-based Specialty Medical Supplies has been held since Friday in his factory on the outskirts of Beijing, as about 80 employees are refusing to let him go until they get severance packages, the WSJ reports. “After 10 years in China, I never would have imagined this would have happened,” he said. Worker disputes are on the rise in China amid concerns about slowing growth.

Source: CFO Journal via email.

IlikedAUH2O on June 25, 2013 at 9:39 AM

BlaxPac on June 25, 2013 at 9:25 AM

No, I was thinking libertarian conservative, with a small “l” for libertarian and leaders more like (Ted Cruz and) Rand Paul than Ron Paul.

The new coalition wished for, however unlikely or likely, is basically individual liberty, limited Constitutional government, economic freedom versus progressivism.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

“Snowden…Who is this Snowden?”

Putin to Obama

workingclass artist on June 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

They think this story is about Obama, and they are giddy about the leaking of all this info to our adversaries. Sad to see.

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Man am I getting sick and tired of your bullshite.

I will say it, AGAIN, trashfish…

Yes, Edward Snowden broke the law, but he also gave up a helluva lot: his family, his girlfriend, his friends, his home, his job in Hawaii, his name, his future, his freedom (which will always be curtailed even if he is never apprehended by the US), and, perhaps, his life.

…BUT, I THANK HIM FOR EXPOSING THE TRUTH.

I don’t have to glorify Edward Snowden. In fact, I don’t even have to like him to be grateful for what he did.

Whatever you think of him or what he did, ask yourself: How many people do you know that would be willing to make those sacrifices so that Americans could learn the truth about the Surveillance State?

I am willing to bet that you are just the kind of bird, who would NEVER reveal the wrongdoing of the Federal government, because, well, you’d just have to sacrifice your name, spouse, children, family, friends, home, job, freedom and maybe even your life. Undoubtedly, you wouldn’t have blown the whistle on what the IRS was doing to law-abiding Americans, ‘cuz, well, that would require some integrity and courage and those are a couple of things that you lack. In fact, you strike me as a Lois Lerner-Gladys Kravitz type.

Oh, hell, never mind. You’re obviously 100% correct. It’s not like the Federal government has been busted illegally wiretapping people in the past, laundering drug money, illegally targeting Tea Party groups, or putting a bullet through the head of a woman holding her infant daughter in her arms or anything.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Leno is doing more damage to Obama right now than the GOP did in five years.

rrpjr on June 25, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Indeed he is. Tweet it. Email it. Let’s spread it around.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:42 AM

They think this story is about Obama, and they are giddy about the leaking of all this info to our adversaries. Sad to see.

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

You wish it wasn’t. You want to deflect. You’re a coward.

MadisonConservative on June 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

They think this story is about Obama…

bluegill on June 25, 2013 at 9:07 AM

It’s entirely about him.

rrpjr on June 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Sorry for the double half-post. I thought the full post had been ‘eaten’ by the internet ether.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Preezy Snuffsnoopy is so upset with Putin for lying about Snowden he’s going to punish Russia by shutting down US power Plants.

That’ll show em’

workingclass artist on June 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I don’t have to glorify Edward Snowden. In fact, I don’t even have to like him to be grateful for what he did.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Here’s hoping the surveillance issue doesn’t get lost in all the fluff about Snowden.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Beautiful.
Simply beautiful.

Cleombrotus on June 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Lavrov said. “He chooses his route himself, and we have learned about it from the media.”

Is that a dig? Pretty funny actually.

lynncgb on June 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:13 AM

The thing is, if it was just the right that was being divided over Snowden, Obama would see the whole kerfuffle as an asset. And the split between conservative traditionalists vs. libertarian conservatives on this could have been easily predicted, based on past positions during both the Bush and Clinton administrations.

The split on the left is different, because up until now, many there held to the idea that Obama hated American surveillance practices in the same way they did, and they were all in this Hope and Change thing together. Suddenly, they’re shocked (Shocked!) to find out that Obama and his gang only hated them when Bush and the Republicans held the White House, and now are perfectly find with using the NSA apparatus for even more wide-ranging spy efforts than GWB did.

So you still have the Obama/Democratic Party partisans like David Gregory willing to follow any path the administration takes (If Obama started acting like Woody Allen’s dictator in “Bananas” and demanding all citizens wear their underwear on the outside of their clothing, Gregory’s only question would be “Boxers or briefs?“). But in general, they’re not the street activists this White House needs to pretend there’s some sort of popular groundswell of folks demanding America change its evil ways. Those are the ones on the left mostly siding with Glenn Greenwald right now, and as long as the Snowden case remains in the news, they’re not likely to be willing to take marching orders to support Obama’s other pet causes, even if they agree with them.

jon1979 on June 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Yes, Edward Snowden broke the law, but he also gave up a helluva lot: his family, his girlfriend, his friends, his home, his job in Hawaii, his name, his future, his freedom (which will always be curtailed even if he is never apprehended by the US), and, perhaps, his life.

…BUT, I THANK HIM FOR EXPOSING THE TRUTH.

Okay, one minute here. Just WHAT exactly did this guy “expose” that wasn’t public knowledge to anyone with half a brain?

That we’re being spied on? Old news since the “Patriot” act passed in the wake of panic. That Obumbles McStupid is using the Constitution for TP? Old news since 2008!

MelonCollie on June 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Here’s hoping the surveillance issue doesn’t get lost in all the fluff about Snowden.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I can’t help wonder how many of those who hate Snowden for telling what the US government is illegally doing against American citizens will also say the Rosenbergs were innocent.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Those pimp slaps must start to hurt after a while, especially with that Super Bowl ring on.

abobo on June 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM

HA!

Возьмите эту суку!

Putin to Obama

workingclass artist on June 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

I don’t believe Snowden will ever be returned to the US for trial. I believe his intent was to expose the domestic surveillance, but then the idiot administration tried to downplay his info by saying he didn’t have access to know whether this program was ongoing. He decided to go the extra mile to prove he knew what he was talking about by revealing the spying on our enemies.

He is a traitor but will never face prosecution. Obama will hope we all forget about him and this will leave the news. The damage is done, so why hurt his poll numbers by working so hard to bring him here for trial?

In the end, I am not sure Obama cares this info was leaked, other than it makes him look weak and has hurt his polling. The fact that it hurts the US is irrelevant to him.

goflyers on June 25, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Hate to be a wet rag, but does anyone think that the information on those laptops are just about us poor Tea Party member and the posts we made online?

This SOB has negated years of intel gathering methods that did not come cheap (in lives or treasure). We will have lost critical strategic alliances in gathering information in both Human & Signal intelligence that takes decades to come through.

IMHO that makes it more important that trying to score points against the Administration: and for those that have the idea that this will get Obama removed from office, i just don’t see it happening.

And even if it didn’t the problem is a hell of a lot bigger (so to speak) than even that inept, horses….lemme rephrase…that miscalculating President brought upon us.

Forget the Walker Spy ring…forget Boyce & Lee…That will be a sunny walk in the damn park compared to now.

Get real-time strategic intel from sources inside hostile governments? Gone.

Keep our own intel and infrastructure system from being penetrated too deeply or under increased cyber-attack from same hostile government? In the flippin wind, my friend.

Am I concerned about the data collection done by NSA?
No, not as much as I am about the IRS or Benghazi, since again I am aware that nothing is really that sacred (or secret) on the Interwebs.

BlaxPac on June 25, 2013 at 9:52 AM

I know we like to think our Intel is the best but is it possible the flight to Russia was a red herring set up by the Chinese to lead US authorities in one direction while they either bring Snowden to a safe house in the mainland or get him out of the country another way?

OliverB on June 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Gladys Trashfish:

Do you know who else broke the law?

1. President Obama (Libya, non-recess-recess appointments, etc)

2. Hillary Clinton (lied to Congress)

3. Kathleen Sebelius (violated the Hatch Act)

4. Charlie Rangel (failed to pay income taxes, used 3 rent-controlled apartments for offices, illegally parked his inoperable Mercedes in the Congressional carpark for years)

5. Timothy Geithner (failed to pay income taxes)

6. Jim Clapper (lied to Congress)

7. Keith Alexander (lied to Congress)

8. Lisa Jackson (violated the the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act)

9. Thomas Perez (violated the the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act)

10. Eric Holder (twice committed perjury and lied to Congress on, at least, 2 occasions, both are felonies)

And, those are just for starters. Is the entire state apparatus criss-crossing the globe looking for them? Have any of them been indicted? Have any of them served one second in jail?

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Those pimp slaps must start to hurt after a while, especially with that Super Bowl ring on.

abobo on June 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM

You’ll love this cartoon…

Obama, Putin Agree Never to Speak to Each Other Again

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:55 AM

jon1979 on June 25, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Good point. The split in Obama support alienates the activists, the ones Obama need the most to advance his agenda.

Partisan loyalists/statist left versus libertarian/anarchist (activist) left?

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 9:58 AM

This SOB has negated years of intel gathering methods that did not come cheap (in lives or treasure). We will have lost critical strategic alliances in gathering information in both Human & Signal intelligence that takes decades to come through.

BlaxPac on June 25, 2013 at 9:52 AM

This is what I’ve been trying to get past the resident members of the “anything that hurts Obama is doubleplus good” crowd.

Snowden’s D-grade leaking that told us absolutely nothing we didn’t already know is going to cost boatloads of money for sure and probably lives. We’ll likely not know the full damage since it’s going to be swept under the rug to minimize embarassment to the Zero. And since Obumbles the Magic is a neutered ninny, the biggest threat to his life is now a US agent or friend thereof being killed because of him, and someone going to avenge them.

MelonCollie on June 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Don’t look at me, RWM…I’m all for putting the kettle on with black tar and cutting up my good pilliows for the goose feathers.

But until came make a real convince case for other, similar treatment, put Snowdens azz on that list too. He wanted to play the spy game, let him learn what happens when you DO act as a hostile agent for a foreign government (even if he’s just “freelancing”).

Again, just my 2 nickles…spend it as you wish.

BlaxPac on June 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM

The Russians and the Chinese are making fools out of US officials, and don’t think that’s gone unnoticed.

They’re going to see just how far they can go with this.

I’m reminded of the early days of the Dubya presidency…pre-9/11…of the incident with the US spy plane that was allegedly clipped by Chine fighter jets and had to make an emergency landing on that Chinese island, and the Chinese government held/detained the plane’s crew for a time, before ultimately releasing them.

The big difference tho, is that the crew of the US spy plane took an ax to the equipment, lest the Chinese glean much technical intelligence from that plane. Snowden has preserved his evidence, and gawd knows who he’s spoken to, or what he’s revealed.

This isn’t going to have a pretty ending me thinks.

JetBoy on June 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM

workingclass artist on June 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

He did say last week the biggest threat to the world and mankind was global warming.

docflash on June 25, 2013 at 10:05 AM

As foretold, our relationship with Russia has “flexibility” apparently. Putin does whatever he wants.

KW64 on June 25, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Read the story of The Hutchinson Letters, which not only revealed the Crown’s plans to crush the rights of and put down the Colonists, but also had far-reaching implications in England and contained information about France.

These letters fell into the hands of Ben Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and others that would later fight in the American Revolution and be called ‘Founding Fathers.’

Should we call these men traitors for revealing Crown secrets and tyrannical plots to abridge civil liberties, as well as compromising national security, or are they, rightfully, called Patriots?

Is Edward Snowden a Samuel Adams? No.

But, the Crown considered Samuel Adams an Edward Snowden, as he would be described by Trashfish.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Wesley Pruden nails it:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/25/pruden-barack-obamas-enduring-ineptitude/

onlineanalyst on June 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Phew! That’s a doozie. Pruden outdid himself with that one.

petefrt on June 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Don’t look at me, RWM…I’m all for putting the kettle on with black tar and cutting up my good pilliows for the goose feathers.

But until came make a real convince case for other, similar treatment, put Snowdens azz on that list too. He wanted to play the spy game, let him learn what happens when you DO act as a hostile agent for a foreign government (even if he’s just “freelancing”).

Again, just my 2 nickles…spend it as you wish.

BlaxPac on June 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM

I was ‘looking’ at Trashfish. Further, as I said above, Snowden broke the law.

As for Snowden being an ‘hostile agent for a foreign government,’ that assumes facts not yet – and maybe never will be – in evidence. Let the Federal government prove that, as is required by the Constitution and the Espionage Act of 1917.

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:10 AM

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